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New veterans center's focus is business


Volunteers will offer help in re-entering work force

Friday, May 22 | 8:27 p.m.

BY TOM VOGT
COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER

A new resource for veterans opens its doors Sunday in east Vancouver.

It's a partnership between a Vancouver woman whose husband died on active duty more than 50 years ago and a retired Marine who pioneered the concept with a center in the San Diego area.

The Southwest Veterans Business Resource Center makes its debut at 2 p.m. at 16505 S.E. First St., Suite H, in the retail center anchored by Parkrose Hardware.

Fran Tobias organized the Vancouver site as the second location in what former Marine Albert Renteria foresees as a national organization. Renteria, founder and CEO, opened the first center on Nov. 11, 2008 — Veterans Day — in Fallbrook, Calif.

The retired chief warrant officer, who will be on hand Sunday for the event, is working with local partners in several other cities across the country.

Tobias described the center as a place where volunteers can help veterans reintegrate into society.

"It's not about sitting down and drinking coffee," Tobias said. "It's getting prepared for the job market or for going into business."

The center will offer a formal 400-hour program that includes a $2,000 stipend. There also will be information on benefits and help in building résumés.

It will be open from noon to 3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
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The Vancouver center is dedicated to Tobias' husband, Marine Capt. James W. Tobias Jr. He died June 30, 1956, when two airliners collided over the Grand Canyon. The collision killed 128 passengers and crew members on the United DC-7 and the TWA Constellation.

"Since then, every commercial passenger plane has been equipped with radar," she said.

More information

360-314-6325, vancouver@swvbrc.org, www.WhereCommunitiesServeVeterans.org

Tom Vogt: 360-735-4558 or tom.vogt@columbian.com.

DOD Welcome home-small.jpg

A welcoming home for our Troops.

Welcoming home our men and women doesn't end after the crowd disperses, it MUST continue on for the life of the Veteran! They've served us, now we will serve them with programs that work so they reintegrate into society.

We are a national public benefit nonprofit organization that educates American Communities about best practices to serve Veterans.  We honor their service by empowering Veterans to apply their training and skills to successfully transition to productive careers and enterprises.

We provide free vocational training 24/7 to all of our members through our website, in addition to local events.  We believe the tenet that American Communities are the ultimate beneficiaries when Veterans claim their benefits and invest in productive endeavors.

The SWVBRC enlists the support of members of local Communities like you to increase Veteran awareness of the value of obtaining a VA card and receiving earned benefits.

Sponsorships, donations, volunteers and support from communities like yours enable us to reach out to Veterans and empower them to transition back into successful, productive enterprises that ultimately benefit all Americans and support future generations.

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The Internal Revenue Service has determined that Southwest Veterans' Business Resource Center, Inc. is an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A donation to SWVBRC, Inc. is deductible to the extent permitted under law.

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